I'm just getting started on this. I am a post-it note maven and each week start a grocery list on a new long post-it note. Any tips for how to keep my grocery list handy, while making my kitchen look sleek (not that post-it notes helped the sleekness part). Thanks!
I have a possible suggestion for you. I am a recovering note-a-holic as well. I purchased an iPhone last year and noticed that there is a notes and calendar application on it. I realized how less wasteful I could be if I used these apps instead of jotting down appointments, to do lists, grocery lists and other reminders on paper. It started out really slow, it takes a little more time than just writing by hand. But over time I started to use it more and more and now I rarely write anything on paper. Most modern cell phones come with some kind of program similar to this. The great thing about it, is we almost always have our phones with us, so you always have your notes handy! Hope this helps!
I'm using my iPhone as well. There is this great website allrecipes.com. What I do is pick out the recipes that I want to make that week and use the program to make a menu of the recipes. Once that is done, I just add to my shopping list, all on the same website and it sends the shopping list to my phone. On the phone the shopping list is really easy to use I just check off things as I go. You can add incidental items to the list on the website as well. Plus it will add up the ingredient for each recipe so that if 3 recipes call for chicken, it will add up the total amount of chicken and tell you how much you need to buy at the store. It makes keeping things organized so easy. I thinks the iPhone app is a couple of dollars to use all of the features, but for me, it is so worth it. :)
We made a small dry erase board using magnets and an old mirror. Our mirror is slightly smaller than a 8.5x11 piece of paper. I glued a bunch of magnets to the back and it sticks to the refigerator. We use dry erase markers or washable markers to write our list on it during the week, then I transfer the list to a piece of paper (usually the back of a junk mail envelope) befor going to the store. This would really cut down on the stick-it notes. Also, you could use a piece of glass and markers, or paint the glass or mirror with chalk board paint and use chalk. That would probably be more ZW or green because chalk is greener than the markers.
I have labeled my containers. When I empty each one, I run it through the dishwasher, then add it to my shopping bag. When I get to the store, I just refill the containers with whatever the label says belongs in it.
This also cures the problem I used to have whereby I would stock up on too much of one thing just because it was on sale, and then I wouldn't use it up before it expired. I now have a visual reminder of how much is "enough."
I saw on Bea's tips- that (at least until you stop your junk mail) you should cut up some of the pages or even the envelopes- to use as lists! Then they at least get one more use before you compost or recycle them. ;o) I've started doing this and found I have SO many scrap pieces to use.... guess I need to figure out this junk mail stopping soon!
I have a droid and it has a great app called Our Groceries. You can use it on your home computer and sync it to your phone and visa versa. You can also email the list to others if you need them to pick something up. You can also create various lists - a standard one you use all the time, or one for a birthday or event. I am a huge "lister". This has been very helpful for me.
I have a Brother p-Touch labeler -- the plastic tape is waterproof (but it has disposable paper backing -- Bea would not approve). But Sharpies also work well for labeling containers, and it lasts through the dishwasher.
... and the good news about sharpie ink is that, despite surviving soap and water, it apparently CAN be removed with alcohol, so pretty cool idea (if you can justify the Sharpie!). I had been using dry erase pens, but after having more than one jar of mystery ingredients, I'm switching.
I hear those P-touches are pretty cool, nice.
P.S. I forgot to say, I also bought Crayola Washable Crayons for labeling the containers with the bulk bin number at the store, because that I want to wash off between each shopping trip (the numbers can change, or I might select a different variety of, say, beans the next time). I think they're made of soap, because they wash off very easily. The dark crayons show up best.
My Current Plan-
Besides bringing containers to the store, I have started using a Kindle (my phone is too ancient): make the list on the computer (veggies, whatever), save as a PDF, then email. It gets loaded in less than 5 minutes, so I can wait until the last minute to send. Not as sophisticated as apps + smart phone, but it's what I have. Works OK. I have a few recipes on it, too, and am thinking i can just reference the recipes directly instead of listing needed ingredients. Will be experimenting with that aspect this week. This will assume, of course, that I know what we already have at home!
Hi, I bought the Crayola washable crayons to use for writing on my bulk jars, but they don't work. The writing is so faint, it's nearly impossible to see on the glass or the metal lids. Has the formulation changed? Is there a brand that works better on glass and still washes off? Thanks so much.
You could try using a china marker wax pencil, but it really needs to be rubbed off -doesn't easily wash off. Art stores carry them. Another option is masking tape+pen. Also, as stated elsewhere, Sharpies are great on glass and can be cleaned off w/alcohol, but aren't a good idea on metal since you might never be able to get off. Wax pencils are less than perfect on plastic, sometimes not completely cleaning off. Whatever you do, experiment before making any significant marks.
FWIW, I've reverted to using old envelopes for my [handwritten] grocery list, as well as for collecting any stickers forced to accept from the butcher, etc.
Another option: Record items needed on fridge door (works great with ye olde white fridge) via whatever method you like, then use smart phone to take picture of your list and TAKE phone with you shopping, or send picture to the person who will be shopping. I also email to myself copies of recipes I find online. So if I have access to my email while shopping/cooking, I use my email for a cookbook.
If you're staying with a paper list, why not move it indoors: Find a convenient kitchen cupboard door and mount some hanging hardware there. Might not be magnetic but a hole punch for the pad and a small circular screw-in type hook to hang it from (or a 3M hook if you don't want to mar the surface) should do the trick. For those without that pad of paper, a clip board with cut scrap paper would do the trick.
I'm old school (probably because I'm old), and still use paper lists. What used to be my junk drawer in my kitchen is now holding only my produce bags and market tote bag, a pen, and some scratch paper for making lists. It's always in the same place and nobody can see it. I don't want to attach anything to my fridge, like magnets or whatever. I like that sleek nothing out on the counters look in my kitchen and putting up refrigerator magnets and chalkboards would detract from that. The pen in the kitchen drawer is one of three pens in the entire house, it is unbelievable to me I can keep track of them, but it's really true that the less you own, the more careful you are and the easier it is to keep track of what is actually left.
I've thought about getting one of those Post-It note apps or list making apps or whatever for my phone, but I know I won't use it. So no use cluttering up my phone with it. Another good rule: Think twice before bringing it into your house or onto your phone!